Issue 351: 9 / 20 / 2010

Southwest's First Career Fair of Fall Attracts 20 Plus Employer Representatives

Susan Boyd (center) and TVA ...

Susan Boyd (center) and TVA Hiring Manager David Medlock discuss career options with hopeful career fair participants.

Nearly 400 students made time between classes last week along with numbers of Southwest alumni to go to the semester's first career fair to meet potential employers. And there was plenty of inspiration for career thoughts as more than 20 companies and organizations provided them an opportunity to talk about current and future job opportunities, in addition to practicing their business networking skills.

Two career fairs were held, on September 8 at the Macon Cove Campus and September 9 at the Union Avenue Campus, with entertainment and refreshments provided by the Southwest Student Activities office.

Companies present at one or both of the career fairs included: Bott Radio Network, Central Transport, FedEx SmartPost, Flinn Broadcasting Corporation, Girls Incorporated of Memphis, HealthSouth, The Goddard School, Levenger, Memphis Area Teachers' Credit Union, Memphis Light Gas & Water, Primerica Financial Services, Rehab America, Resource One Medical Staffing, Shelby Residential Vocational Services, Southwest Program Information, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), U.S. Army/Army Reserve, and Vector Marketing.

One of the highlights of the career fairs for Southwest Career Services Director Brenda Williams was speaking to former student, Katrena Parnell, now employed with TVA. “Katrena graduated from one of our A.A.S. Degree programs (Electrical Engineering Technology) and was hired by TVA  three years ago. When I spoke to her a short time ago – she said that she had come in on her day off and was really enjoying talking to students about employment with TVA,” Williams stated.

TVA has a long-standing relationship with Southwest as explained by Talent Management Senior Recruiter Susan M. Boyd who also spoke about Parnell’s budding career with TVA. “The relationship with Southwest is very important to the TVA plants located in the western portion of the TVA Service Area. The Electrical Engineering Technology  and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs are excellent feeders to the technical training programs at TVA." Katrena Parnell, who graduated from Southwest  in 2007, visited the TVA booth at the career fair and was then hired at the Allen Fossil Plant into one of the technical training programs (Student Generator Plant Operator). "She has progressed to the level of Assistant Unit Operator and continues to be an excellent contributor at  the Allen Fossil Plant,” Boyd added.

Prior to earning her A.A.S. degree, Katrena earned her Elictrical/Electronic Fundamentals and Industrial Computer Fundamentals Technical Certificates from Southwest.

Please view a gallery of the first career fairs of the academic year.